Safety in Physical Activity

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 Exercise is generally good for you but  precautions have to be taken to avoid:

Acute conditions i.e. those that occur suddenly and are typically of a short duration  

  Chronic conditions i.e. those that tend to develop gradually and are long lasting

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Heart attacks

   If a person is unfit and then takes part in strenuous exercise they risk suffering a heart attack, especially if they already have heart disease. Even fit people have a small risk of a heart attack when doing demanding exercise

  • Heart attacks is when blood flow to part of the heart is blocked, often by a blood clot, causing damage to the affected muscle
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  • Strokes a condition in which the brain cells suddenly die because of a lack of oxygen. This can be caused by an obstruction in the blood flow, or the rupture of an artery that feeds the brain
  •  These are most likely to occur in people with high blood pressure
  • Exercise causes a temporary increase in blood pressure. In an older person and someone who is quite unfit there is an increased risk of a stroke Fit people generally have lower blood pressure so there is less risk although the risk is still slightly increased when doing strenuous exercise
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Severe Injury

What are the most serious injuries in physical activity and sport?

  • Head and spinal damage
  • Bone fractures
  • Joint dislocations
  • Contact sports have  a higher risk of injury such as rugby and boxing as against an activity such as running or dancing  
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Common Injuries

  •  More common acute injuries are those to muscles and joints
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Bruising
  • Hypothermia
  • Cuts    
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Who's most at risk?

  • Unfit
  • Inexperienced
  • Those who exercise close to the limit of their ability

Why are older people more at risk?

  • Less flexible
  • Brittle bones
  • Less elastic cartilage cushioning the joints
  • Injuries slower to heal
  • Older people
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Prinicples of good practice and safety

  • avoiding dehydration
  • warm-up and warm-down programmes
  • appropriate equipment and clothing
  •  the correct use of monitoring equipment
  •  getting expert advice before starting exercise
  • having a medical check before starting exercise
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Medical Checks

  • Can reveal previously undiagnosed illness
  • Important for people who are unfit or who have not taken much exercise before
  • Prevents over exertion
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Expert advice

  • Helps to maximise the benefits of exercise and minimise risks
  • Helps to decide what type of exercise and level of demand
  • Advice provided by personal trainer, physiotherapist or fitness instructor
  • Instructs beginners in the use of safety equipment
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Monitoring Equipment

  • The first reason is to decide at what level of demand the exercise programme should be
  • The second reason is to obtain a baseline measure of fitness so later assessments can show progress
  • Before taking up exercise an assessment a persons fitness should be made e.g. spirometry, Vo2 Max, BMI
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lothing and Equipement

  • Temperature control clothing (prevents injury by keeping muscles and joints warm)
  • Non restrictive clothing
  • Correct size racquets/bats
  • Running shoes
  • Shin/elbow pads
  • Eye protection
  •  Mouth guards
  • Buoyancy aids
  • Helmets
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Warm Ups

 Why do we need to warm-up?

Two parts, the first is to raise the heart rate, the second is to stretch and warm the muscles, joints and tendons

  • Raise temperature,
  • heats up muscles and tendons
  • increase cardiac output and respiration
  • Prepare mentally
  • Prevent injury


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Warm Downs

  • Warming down gives time for the blood vessels to contract while maintaining blood pressure This leads to temporary reduction in blood pressure
  • After exercise, cardiac output begins to drop and yet the blood vessels are still dilated
  • Reduces dizziness-Oxygen is taken to skeletal muscles during exercise
  • Lactic acid is removed quicker and more efficiently if a person maintains a high metabolic rate i.e. keep exercising gently This causes pain and cramps
  • Helps to get rid of lactic acid when a person has exceeded the anaerobic threshold (AT is the point where lactate (lactic acid) begins to accumulate in the bloodstream)
  • Prevents injuries, cramps and soreness after exercise
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Avoiding Dehydration

  •  Exercise results in a loss of water from the body (breathed out and as sweat)
  • Some athletes drink water with rehydration salts to replace salt lost through sweating
  •  when doing an activity such as running in hot weather It is important to replace water by drinking before and after exercise
  • Dehydration can cause an increase in heart rate and breathing rate, dizziness, confusion and headaches
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